Mont Blanc/Passy Triathlon

“That looked great, so much better than your turns on the run before! You need to keep working on XYZ,, but I can see you’re making some great changes. Well done!”

This is a very basic example of giving feedback using the sh•t sandwich technique; we give praise, then constructive criticism, and finish with more praise. The sh•it sandwich technique is an excellent way to buffer the bad by surrounding it with good.

I’m going to use this format to structure this post about the triathlon on Saturday, as there was bad, but I want to come out of it feeling good.

The good:

The Mont Blanc/Passy Triathlon took place on Saturday and I completed the Olympic Distance – 1.5km swim, 45km bike ride with 900+/-, and 10km run. No DNF, yeaaaaah!

I also:

Did not crash.
Did not hurt myself (okaaay, maybe a few scratches on my feet from the swim!)
Was 4th female out of the water (5th on my bike. Ah, those transitions!)
Enjoyed the epic views.
Was thrilled it did not rain.
Was lucky to be surrounded by such fabulous supporters.

Thank you to Jude for the video. Check out the leading ladies and their awesome butterfly type technique to get out of the shallow water. I’m on the right somewhere, one of the first to get swimming…a little premature in the water, hence the scratched feet!

The bad:

I struggled to distinguish between a stomach bug and a bad case of nerves. I’m sure it was a mixture of both, but it kicked in on the Thursday night, which even though I’m a nervous person, was unusually early for me.

Saturday, it was bad. I was struggling to eat and felt sick. The burping started on the swim, and the nausea hit hard every time I tried to exert myself. Plus, it was HOT. And, the bike was much steeper than I thought it would be!

I also broke my timer strap taking off my wetsuit! One of the referee types, not a volunteer, said I could carry on and be placed, but wouldn’t have official times. I asked whether wearing it in my pocket would be allowed – yes!

Helen, fellow Tri Montagne team mate, went past me, as expected! A minute later, I came across her sprawled out on the road. My heart plummeted. I’m not going to delve into detail, but it was not a pretty sight. There was a lot of blood, emotion, shock and scary scenes. She is one very brave and positive lady and is recovering fantastically well. I am full of admiration and inspired at how positive she is being.

Once she was taken care of by the emergency services, I was told to carry on. I reluctantly did as I was told, knowing that it probably would also be the quickest way back to base.

Those who follow this blog, or know me, are fully aware I’m a nervous cyclist! I plodded my way to the top of Plaine Joux feeling very nauseous. I stopped for coca cola and water (ewww, vom!), and proceeded to crawl all the way back down to the lake. Any time I tried to put more energy into it, I felt very dizzy and sick. This was less than ideal and very frustrating. I was shaken and had lost any interest in racing.

Coming into transition I saw friends who’d driven over to support.

Balls! I’m going to have to run now.

The first lap was a struggle, still feeling sick and thinking about Helen. I also knew she’d want me to finish. A DNF was not on the cards. A JBF was.

Just bloody finish.

And I did, and I am so glad I did.


The good:

It’s been a rocky road, quite literally, over summer 2015 and this one (2016 I was lucky to be in NZ) – bike crashes, resulting in trashed bikes and trashed me (psychologically and physically), sprained ankles, wasted money on competitions I couldn’t attend and on pricey for my pocket tri suits that have yet to arrive (!). I generally feel a bit bleugh.


Just keep moving, just keep moving…

I could dwell on that, BUT this part is for the good not the bad. I’ve learned so much from these experiences, and not repeated the same thing twice. Thankfully.

Like I said, I did well in Saturday’s swim leg and, despite the sh•t, I was strong enough to complete the event on Saturday.

Not only that, but I’ve had a great summer of training. It’s ace being part of a tri club. A friend has promised she’ll come and play with me in a grassy field to practise bike skills and transitions. (Although, Carla, you’re having a shoulder operation….?! #whatarewelike)

The Buzz Big Day Out, the Morzine Cyclosportive, lake swims, pool swims, bike rides with friends (especially going around lake Geneva) runs around the Parc des Dereches, training and teaching for Buzz, it’s all been brilliant!

The loos! How could I forget the loos? Cleaning toilets has also been marvellous.


It’s only with time and experience that I am realising that life in general is a sh*it sandwich. Unfortunate things happen all the time. What is considered unfortunate is always relative to the person. So yes, it can ‘always be worse’, but we still need to process whatever it may be, personally.

Ultimately it is how we deal with stuff that matters the most. That’s why life is a sh•t sandwich. There is always good stuff going on either side of the sh•t. Good stuff we can take from the bad and hopefully be better. Acknowledging the bad and thinking about it is okay and necessary, but finding the strength to get out the good takes practise, time and experience. It’s okay not to get it right every time.

That choice though, to find the positive from the negative and change accordingly, comes from within. Only you can decide to make that change.